The Hamilton County Superior Court sentenced a woman to "spend more than a century in prison" convicted of poisoning her child's father and strangling him with his favourite tie.
Heidi Marie Littlefield was sentenced last Friday to 60 years for murder, 35 years for conspiracy to commit murder resulting in death, and 20 years for conspiracy to commit murder, but not resulting in death for the attempted poisonings.
Judge Michael A.Casati passing the verdict said the sentences were set to run consecutively. Littlefield has been credited with 748 days of time served.
The murder, as per court documents, stemmed from a custody dispute. Francis Kelley, the victim, was the father of Littlefield's younger, then two-year-old, daughter. A hearing was scheduled for January 27, 2021 because Kelley claimed that Littlefield was violating the parenting time order. He had claimed that she was not letting him pick up their daughter and that Littlefield would stay in his house during his parenting time.
Authorities said things took a nasty turn when Littlefield took in her older daughter Logan Marie Runyon and Runyon's boyfriend Robert Walker in a plan to kill Kelley, 46. Littlefield and Runyon poisoned the victim's food on multiple instances, including his oatmeal. The court document reveals that in one exchange, Kelley questioned whether she had tampered with his oatmeal. "Did you do something to the oatmeal that was in my fridge?" he asked her.
The affidavit stated that Littlefield laced his food with fentanyl. It said they found Kelley unresponsive at his home, and the defendant grabbed Fran's favourite tie and strangled him. Her adult daughter's boyfriend told investigators that Littlefield even tried to bludgeon Kelley in the head.
Runyon testified that she and her mother tried to poison Kelley three times. They snuck into his home, after the third attempt, and found him face-down on the floor, gasping for breath on January 14, 2021. Littlefield asked her 23-year-old daughter to break the victim's neck but she couldn't because Kelley was too heavy. The accused then went upstairs, grabbed Kelley's favourite necktie, went back downstairs and strangled him. The Carmel police found Kelley dead three days after the crime. His death was initially labelled a homicide, with the cause of death being strangulation. The investigators also found that Littlefield had given her daughter's former boyfriend Robert Walker, $2,500 to hire a hitman. But Runyon and Walker spent the money on drugs, clothes and hotels.
Runyon and Walker pleaded, in March and May respectively, to conspiracy to commit murder. Walker was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a second conspiracy to commit murder charge was dropped as part of the guilty plea. Runyon was sentenced to 26 years imprisonment. This verdict came after she agreed to testify against her mother as a condition of her plea agreement. She also told the deputy prosecutor that she went along with Littlefield's murder plot because she wanted to win her mother's affection.